Jefferies remains cautious regarding a recent article in DigiTimes that suggested Apple Inc. has signed a foundry partnership agreement with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (TSMC). The brokerage said this was an unconfirmed report.

TSMC would apply its 28nm and 20nm process technologies to produce Apple's next-generation CPUs, the report said, citing sources.

TSMC is believed to have quietly secured Apple's contract, and even succeeded in extending the deal to cover the manufacture for the A6's successor, the report said.

We caution that this is an unconfirmed story and that Digitimes has in the past been inaccurate. Even if true, we estimate an Apple A6 order win would drive a modest 0.6 percent upside to earnings estimates in 2012 and 2.6 percent in 2013. Hence we do not see a confirmed Apple win as a re-rating catalyst, said Robert Lea, an analyst at Jefferies.

He believes the rush orders were mainly smartphone-related, ahead of the iPhone 5 launch. His checks also reveal order strength from customers in the EM feature phone sector.

The emergence of rush orders is in line with his existing view that near-term fundamentals are improving and TSMC will see some semblance of seasonal second half growth.